Coffee Culture Around the World

Ah, coffee: a brewed beverage relied on by so many around the world. Since as far back as we can remember, coffee has been consumed in some way, shape, or form. Whether you’re in Italy, Turkey, or Vietnam, it’s obvious just how prevalent coffee culture is, though it’s fascinating to see the different ways in which a particular place takes their cup of joe.

One of the most prominent coffee-drinking countries is Denmark, where you can easily find cafes filled to the brim with people enjoying “kaffe” all the while escaping the harsh winter weather. Coffee consumption is so high in Denmark—especially in places like Copenhagen—that there is bound to be a coffee shop decked out in gorgeously Scandinavian designs awaiting you on every corner; perhaps that’s why it’s often rated one of the happiest countries in the world.

Though most cultures view coffee simply as an early-morning energizer, Ethiopia takes it to a whole other level. Here, many take part in a coffee ceremony three times a day: in the morning, afternoon, and evening. A primary function of this ritual is to show respect and/or welcome guests into one’s home. It may also be used as a time in which people are able to relax and discuss politics and other day-to-day happenings. Ethiopia is a highly reputable coffee producing country as well, so one is sure to get their hands on a quality cup. Coffee here is often consumed with sugar (or occasionally salt), but rarely with milk.

If you’re looking for a strong cup of coffee, Cuba is a great place to check out. Since the 1700’s, Cubans have depended on coffee to get through the day. A cafecito (or cafe Cubano) is a widely-consumed drink—it consists of a shot of Cuban espresso sweetened with cane sugar, ultimately resulting in a thicker consistency. In Miami, where many Cubans have immigrated to, the city implemented a daily tradition of consuming a cafecito at the specific time of 3:05 p.m. Many see it as a way to sit back and indulge in a much-needed breather (as well as some delicious coffee!)

Although hot tea is still ranked the top beverage on Ireland’s list, coffee is a fast-approaching contender. While Irish Coffee is a popular cocktail around the world, a large focus is now being placed on specialty coffee. More of Ireland’s inhabitants are becoming aware of different aspects of coffee, such as its energy-related benefits, how to make it, and where it comes from. At one point in time, the very notion of having a full-blown coffee shop in Ireland would have been the butt of the joke; nowadays, however, more and more people are fessing up to their newfound love of it.

One of the world’s leading coffee exporters, Honduras, is a region chock-full of coffee history. A mix of ideal weather and working conditions allow for excellent coffee production (see growing coffee plant to the right). The Honduras Institute of Tourism even welcomes travelers onto the Honduran Coffee Route, a “journey through six identified coffee regions that allows visitors to hear the success stories of local farmers and learn about their cultivating and roasting procedures while visiting farms, training centers, and research facilities,” all the while sight-seeing in beautiful locations.

Here in the United States, coffee has become a craft. It’s apparent that most of those working in the expansive realm of coffee recognize and appreciate the work that has been and is regularly being done in other regions all over the globe. Let’s face it—we couldn’t have reached where we are now if it weren’t for the proper treatment, payment, and acknowledgement of the coffee farmers working tirelessly behind the scenes. From sourcing quality beans, to implementing appropriate roasting methods and pouring stellar latte art, there is a place for everyone to find their niche should they desire to get involved in the ever-growing movement.

No matter where you may find yourself, there is sure to be a delicious cup of coffee ripe for the taking. It’s important to recognize and appreciate the diversity within the realm of coffee as well as celebrate the various ways in which differing cultures curate their preferred methods of producing and consuming. One can learn a great deal about a particular culture and/or person by observing such methods—who knows, you may even find a new favorite way to take your cup of joe.



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